da Camera of Houston
ABOUT: Da Camera of Houston has established itself as one of America’s leading presenters and producers of ensemble music. The organization is widely acclaimed for its innovative programming, notably Artistic Director Sarah Rothenberg’s unique concerts connecting music with literature and the visual arts, as well as for its jazz series, featuring a distinctive mix of renowned performers and emerging artists.
Da Camera takes its name from the Italian phrase musica da camera, which literally means “music of the room,” or “chamber music,” and refers to smaller ensemble music with one musician on a part, usually performed without conductor. Da Camera embraces a broad definition of chamber music to include both classical music and jazz. The organization brings leading American and international artists to perform at the Wortham Theater Center, The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts and The Menil Collection in a subscription series of curated programs which are often thematically related. Enjoying a 20-year partnership with The Menil Collection, Da Camera’s concerts in the Renzo Piano-designed museum feature special programs created for the museum’s exhibits, free family concerts, and community residency activities. As a member of the Houston Theater District, Da Camera of Houston is recognized, along with the Houston Symphony and Houston Grand Opera, as one of the city’s major performing arts organizations.
Under the artistic direction of pianist Sarah Rothenberg, Da Camera’s goals include connecting music to other art forms; expanding the awareness of American music through the presentation of jazz and the commissioning of new compositions; and developing partnerships with a wide range of cultural institutions locally, nationally and internationally. Da Camera has been involved in the commissioning of 20 new works by some of the nation’s leading composers. A recognized trend-setter in innovative programming, Da Camera presented Marcel Proust’s Paris, the first of its Music and the Literary Imagination programs created by Sarah Rothenberg, as part of the Great Performers at Lincoln Center series in 1995. The success initiated a series presented by Lincoln Center for the next four years, as well as the co-commissioning of Moondrunk, a chamber music/dance theater piece conceived by Ms. Rothenberg which was hailed in New York as “the birth of a new genre.” Da Camera programs have also traveled to Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, London’s Barbican Centre and to other prestigious concert series and festivals throughout the country and in Mexico and Europe.
Each season, Da Camera’s artist roster includes over 60 musicians, representing distinguished performers from around the world and outstanding musicians based in Houston. Da Camera’s unique chamber music concerts are the result of collaboration between visiting artists, local musicians, and artistic director Sarah Rothenberg. Da Camera has presented such renowned performers as Gidon Kremer, The Juilliard String Quartet, Wayne Shorter, Leon Fleisher, Richard Stoltzman, Sonny Rollins, Dianne Reeves, The Brentano Quartet, Dawn Upshaw, McCoy Tyner, and countless others.
The recipient of numerous awards, including a Special Commendation for Outstanding Programming Concepts from Chamber Music America in 1998, Da Camera of Houston was chosen by its peers to receive the CMAcclaim National Award in 2007, in recognition of the organization’s “significant contribution to the cultural life of its region.” Contrary to national trends, Da Camera’s audiences have been growing annually for the last decade. With its innovative programming, dynamic outreach activities, and artist residencies, Da Camera of Houston brings together musical excellence of uncompromising artistic standards with deeply-rooted community programs, striving to make great music accessible to all.
Da Camera of Houston
1427 Branard St.
Houston, TX 77006